I'm a girl, so you can't blame me for writing about love so freely.
This one stars Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, and Ron Ng
Saturday night and he was sitting in the dimly lit room, smoking a cigarette while staring at the wall, lost in his thoughts. His cell phone rang mercilessly and he had ignored all incoming calls while pondering what possessed him to introduce his two best friends. The more he thought about it, the more frustrated he became. His phone rang once more, and again he ignored the incoming call. He was honest with himself. He dared not to turn off the phone just in case she would call.
He laughed at his own pathetic situation. Why would she call him? She was out with Ron tonight. He almost turned off his cell phone as he wanted to be left alone with his thoughts, but he resisted the temptation. He would never forgive himself if she did call him. Even if it was just to talk about what a wonderful evening she had with Ron. Even if there was no chance that she would call him.
He slammed his cigarette bud against the tray. He needed more than smoking to alleviate the pain. How many evenings had he already wasted because he couldn’t let go of his mistake?
He saw her anxiously stir her coffee through the window. She had called him and asked him to meet her because she had something important to share with him. She had asked him if he was free to meet up with her and he lied to her. He told her he had no plans. He cancelled all of his appointments because he wanted to see her. He would abandon everything at her whim, and she didn’t know it.
He continued to stare at her while she was oblivious to his observation. Her mannerisms, her nature, her entire being and aura could never be paralleled. When he saw a man bump into her and spill his steaming hot coffee on her, he became worried and rushed in.
“Tavia, are you alright?”
She was too occupied cleaning herself to notice his presence until she heard his voice. She immediately looked up in his direction and smiled enthusiastically at him, “Hi Ray-Ray.”
He smiled when he heard her say his name. They easily engaged in a conversation but he knew something was wrong; she was easily distracted and answered his questions with irrelevant statements. He had to reach across the table and rest his hands on hers, “Tavia, can you tell me why you asked to see me so urgently?”
She looked at him and broke down. “Ray-Ray, my father…has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has less than three months to live. I…I want to so badly make his final days as comfortable as possible, but I’m so tired. For the past few months, I’ve balanced three jobs to pay for his medical bills but I’m worn out. I can’t do this anymore.”
Ray tightened his hold on her hands, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Is that why you haven’t been returning my phone calls?”
“I didn’t want to burden you. You’ve already done so much for me. I keep on telling myself that I’ll be a better friend to you and bother you less, but here I am, asking you to help me find a solution to my problem.”
“I never thought of you as a burden, Tavia.”
“Ray-Ray, I don’t know what my choices are. The doctor mentioned that surgery would improve his quality of life, but I cannot afford it. I don’t think that I can take a fourth job.”
Ray withdrew his hands, “Tavia, do you trust me enough to let me take care of the bill? You should spend your time with your dad instead. I’ll be back in a second.”
“No, please let me handle my own problems. I only wanted words of encouragement from you. You’ve always made me feel at peace and more confident.”
He patted her hands and walked to a corner to call his other best friend, “Ron, I need a favor from you.”
Ron was the heir to a business empire and had more money than he could spend. He asked Ron to come to the coffee shop to drop off the check, for Ray wanted to be there to comfort Tavia.
END OF FLASHBACK
Ray was too concerned about Tavia to worry about Ron developing interest in her. He did not expect Ron to relentlessly pursue Tavia.
He sighed at his own mistake. The phone rang and he jerked. He recognized the tune. She finally called. He lunged and picked up the phone.
“Hello?” He heard her sobbing at the other end of the line. “Tavia?”
“Ray-Ray, it’s over between me and Ron.”
“Tavia, where are you?”
He drove to meet up with her at the bar. However, she refused to speak about the relationship. She said, “I’ll let you know when I’m ready.”
He respected her decision and never brought up the topic. For the next several months, things almost returned to normal. She gradually became the Tavia he knew before she discovered her father’s illness.
They took their usual stroll through Central Park with the snow flakes gently falling from the sky. Tavia tagged Ray from nowhere and declared, “You’re it! Catch me if you can.”
She ran as fast as she could while the stunned Ray registered what just took place. He smirked in her direction and yelled, “Remember who has longer legs here!”
He gave chase and almost knocked down an old lady. He apologized to her profusely while Tavia giggled at the scene.
Ray looked in her direction and pretended to put on a mad expression, “Wei! What are you giggling at? This is all your fault young lady.”
She looked at him with eyes wide open, “Me? You’re the one who almost ran over that poor woman.” She pointed her fingers accusingly. “How dare you frame the innocent.”
“You’re right, I apologize.” He finally caught up to her and pulled her beanie over her eyes. “Now you’re it!”
“Arg! Stupid Ray. You will pay dearly.” Tavia chased after him and tripped and fell.
Ray quickly spun around when he heard a crash and saw her struggle to get up. He ran to her and carried her to the closest bench. After sitting her down, he examined her leg and asked, “Where does it hurt, Tavia?”
He repeated his question and concern overwhelmed him when he did not receive an answer from her. He looked up and saw her staring at him. “Tavia?”
She looked away in embarrassment when she realized that he saw her staring. After making sure that she was okay, the two sat on the bench in awkward silence.
“Ray, do you know why Ron and I broke up?”
“Ron has not talked to me about it.”
“He cheated on me.” When she saw his fist clenched, she immediately added, “But it was my fault because I also cheated on him. Do you know why I gave him a chance? He reminded me of you.”
Her last statement gave Ray hope and he wondered if she had felt the same way about him.
“I know that I’m making a fool of myself but since I’m leaving soon, I…I wanted to be honest with you.”
He abruptly asked, “What? Where are you going? Why?”
“I’m moving to California. I have relatives out there. And…” She cast her eyes toward the ground. With disappointment, she added, “There’s no reason for me to stay.”
‘What about me? Have you even considered how your move will affect me?’ he wanted to scream out. Instead, he questioned, “What do you mean?”
She looked at him with such longing, but he couldn’t recognize it. He didn’t believe that he would be lucky enough to have her return his feelings. She replied, “If you would please let me finish my story, I’ll explain everything. Ron reminded me of you. He was very caring towards others and was so kind-hearted. He did so much for my late father to make his last days as painless as possible even though he and I were mere acquaintances. After my father passed away, Ron kept me company and helped me survive the hardest moments of my life. The truth is, I’ve liked you for a while. For the same reasons that attracted me to Ron. But I didn’t think that I had a chance because you’re so wonderfully special. I didn’t want to wait for you anymore, so I gave Ron a chance. Even though he treated me well, I couldn’t bring myself to love him. I knew that I had not gotten over you because I always had to fight the urge to call you. Ron knew this, but he never mistreated me. When he confronted me, I couldn’t lie to him. That night, he got drunk and unintentionally slept with a random girl he met at the bar. I was hurt but I felt worse knowing how much I had wronged him. So I called you. I was embarrassed to share the truth with you at first, but as I said, I have nothing to lose because I’ll be leaving soon.”
After telling her story, Tavia was ashamed and needed to hide. She attempted to get off the bench, but Ray pulled her back, “Tavia, my dear, sweet Tavia. If you only knew the misery I suffered whenever I pictured you with Ron instead of me.” He brought his hands up to cup her face, “If you only understood the fire you stir in me with one simple smile on your angelic face.” He leaned his head closer to hers as he whispered, “If you only knew the depth of my love for you then you would have no doubt that I have been waiting for this moment for eternity.” And he gently laid his lips against hers as she responded passionately to his declaration.
When they broke free from the kiss, Ray simply said, “You have me here.”
She leaned her head against his shoulder as their hands intertwined, “You’re right. You’re all the reason I need to stay.”
Ray grabbed onto her shoulders and hopefully asked, “You will not regret this?”
Tavia broke into a smile as she shook her head, “I will never regret this.”
He pulled her into an embrace and whispered, “I love you.”